As the year comes to a close, so does my tenure as President of the ROI Board of Trustees. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the ROI - ASTRO’s Foundation, its members and our patients. We have worked diligently to advance the field of radiation oncology through research designed to enhance our practice and improve outcomes. I am extremely grateful to all those who supported us so generously both with time and effort as well as financially.
Since 2016, the number of grants in the ROI research portfolio has quadrupled in size. A focus on funding more pilot studies and early career investigators conducting research on some of the most compelling topics in our field such as biomarkers, diversity and inclusion, comparative effectiveness and the value proposition has fueled our growth. The ROI also established the annual Publication Award in 2017 as another way to recognize excellence in radiation oncology research. It is satisfying to see that ROI awards are highly sought after and competitive, supporting some of our field’s best and brightest. ROI researchers are producing results that are having a direct impact on practice, and I encourage you to review the summary of their work. Many have also used their ROI awards as a springboard to secure new grants, and I am pleased to report that directly related follow on funding now totals nearly $5 million.
I am thankful to have played a role in these successes and to the many supporters who have made them possible. The ROI is truly a labor of love and a way to give back to the field that has given all of us so much. I look forward to seeing the ROI continue to flourish under the leadership of its most passionate advocate, Colleen A.F. Lawton, MD, FASTRO, who will become ROI President on January 1, 2022. Gita Suneja, MD, MSHP, who has masterfully chaired the ROI Research Committee since 2018, will take on a greater leadership role as ROI Vice President. The future is bright for the ROI, and 2022 promises to bring more new research proposals and initiatives which continue to move our field forward.
In this season of giving and gratitude, I hope you will include supporting radiation oncology research by making your tax-deductible gift to the ROI before the end of the year. The ROI is our research foundation, and we all must contribute to ensure its continued growth and success. Thank you for the unforgettable opportunity to have led this organization that is so critical to the future of our specialty.
Wishing you all the best this holiday season and a very happy New Year!
Deborah A. Kuban, MD, FASTRO